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Friday 25 December 2020


Wishing all of my blogging friends the Merriest Christmas that you can have under the circumstances and here's to lots more blogging friendship in 2021.
Thank you for all of your kind, funny and supportive comments ..... even though I haven't met most of you, I think of you as friends and hope we can share another year of the same in 2021.

Sending love to you all for a very merry Christmas and a  happy and healthy New Year.



Tuesday 22 December 2020

DECK THE HALLS ..........

Christmas in tier 4 !!!
Not Christmas as we know it but, I have no reason to complain as I am far better off than many ...... if I feel a bit down then all I have to do is think of all of the workers in the NHS { our daughter and boyfriend included }, all of the frontline workers and those in hospitality, those who are worried where the next penny is coming from and how to pay their mortgage, pay bills and buy food etc and those worried about their jobs ! 
Maybe we are on our own this Christmas but, we are so lucky to be living in an age of technology so that we can see our family, if only on a computer. 

Wishing all of my blogging buddies as merry a Christmas that you can have and here's to a brilliant 2021.


all photos via me


Saturday 5 December 2020

BACK to the FUTURE .....

This will look a bit strange what with snow falling on my blog and Christmas just around the corner but .....


I've entered these photographs into the David Austin competition on my Instagram account  ... distressing_the_laurels ... into the categories Best Rose Bloom and Best Rose Climbing up an Arch/Pillar/Pergola ! There are zillions of entries so I don't stand a chance but it was fun to do. The photographs that win will go into the 2021 David Austin Roses UK Handbook.
It was something to do as, I cannot believe how organised I am for Christmas ! I have written our cards, bought all of our Christmas presents and even wrapped half of them ! All that's left to do is wrap the other half of the presents, dress the Christmas tree, do the other decorations and cook Christmas dinner !!  
Hope my photographs bring back memories of the Summer months of blue skies and warm sunshine. 
I think my ' Jackie ' has gone missing again and, Blogger won't let me Preview ! Arghhhhhhh !
 all photographs via me

Sunday 22 November 2020

.......... AND SO IT BEGINS

You will be pleased to know { or not ! } that I have started my Christmas preparations, even though we are not sure what sort of Christmas we are going to have. We usually go and choose our Christmas tree every year but, this year I have ordered one from Croft and Cole ..... fresh cut and delivered to my door in mid December.

I have also started buying presents. I have quite a lot to buy ..... our children, their partners, grandchildren, sister, brothers -in-law, neices, nephews, the neices and nephews children, cousins, cousins children etc. etc
Christmas has always been a wonderful time for our family. As a child, our parents made it so magical even though we weren't rolling in money. We always had a real tree and, I can remember my mum dragging it back from the shops ! We would all be part of decorating it ..... often with a few arguments ! That moment when the lights were turned on for the first time was fairylike and so magical. Then there would be a trip up to London to see Father Christmas and Uncle Holly at Selfridges ..... do you remember Uncle Holly ? ..... and, eating hot chestnuts bought from the man on Oxford Street and having a knickerbokerglory at Lyons Corner House and, if we were lucky, seeing a show at The London Palladium.
Apart from his day job, my Dad played in a band at weekends. He used to take an empty gin and whiskey bottle with him and, when people offered to buy him a drink, would gradually fill the bottles up, ready for Christmas !!!!! ..... and then there was Christmas itself. Going to bed on Christmas Eve and leaving a flat pillow case at the end of the bed to wake up on Christmas morning to see that pillow case overflowing with things and bulging at the sides ..... nothing was very expensive but they were all amazing to us. Board games, books, paints and paintbrushes for me, gold chocolate coins, a chocolate tool kit that tasted soapy but who cared .... eating chocolate at 6.00 a.m was brilliant. And then, after breakfast, our aunts and uncles and cousins would come round and there would be more presents .....  a leather netball, Jacko roller skates, more games, something from an old aunt that was a bit boring ..... we would open that one first !! 
The above photograph, taken in the mid 1950's,  is my Dad being Father Christmas at his works Christmas party !!! That's me on the end on the right with the red face, wearing my delightful bolero, knitted by my Mum ! My sister is on the left, also wearing her delightful bolero ! The Father Christmas outfit leaves a lot to be desired ! Looked as if it had been well-used and pretty moth-eaten but, we didn't care. I think we knew it was our Dad and were told not to say anything ! Our Dad loved to take photographs. We have hundreds of those tiny black and white ones when we were on holiday but, there aren't any of Christmas. There are some movies but I can't find any stills ! Maybe he was too busy, playing in the band and getting his bottles filled up or drinking too much of the gin on Christmas Day ?!! { actually, he looks as if he's had a couple of gins in the photo .... he looks a bit dishevelled !! }
I hope that we made the same memories for our children and that our grandchildren find it all just as magical. 
Well, there are just a few memories of my Christmasses .... what are your special Christmas memories ?

image 1: via vogue portugal, image 2: via pinterest, image 3: via me


Monday 16 November 2020


I've just spent loadsamoney !!!!

I've had my MacBook pro for around 9 years now and it has just about had it so I've ordered a new one ..... I feel like it has served me well and its time to invest in a new one .....

As often happens, everything goes at once and my iPhone is over the hill so I have ordered the iphone 12 Pro Max !!!! 
Hopefully, all of my technical problems will now be a thing of the past.  I have to wait a few weeks for them so bear with me .....

I've spent SO much ..... I need a drink ..... or five !


image 1: via zazzle, image 2: via dreamtime, image 3: via apple, image 4: via me


Monday 2 November 2020


I'm having problems in the technical department !!! I can't send emails and I cant comment.

I have been on the phone for days and days and days and days ..... hours and hours ..... and days!  I have been to Scotland, Newcastle, India, Greece, Portugal, Spain and all countries in between. BT say its EE's fault, EE say its Bloggers fault but we have all come to the conclusion that its Apples fault and IOS 14 ! BT tried really hard to fix it, EE said, although its not their fault they did like a challenge and hated to be beaten but they were. You can't talk to Blogger so I did the online chat thing ...... rubbish .... they just said it wasn't their fault ! 
Apparently, I just have to wait for the next Apple update. I am so sorry that I haven't been able to comment and just hope that it will be fixed soon.

Other news ...... nothing much ! 
See the bench in the photograph ? Well, I didn't like it so wanted to get rid ..... Our plumber, who was going to put a new hose in the garden but that was six weeks ago and no sign of him, is usually very obliging and takes anything we don't want and gets rid of it for us. Seeing that  that  avenue was a dead end, we decided to leave the bench on the front drive ..... I put a sign on it ..... FREE BENCH ..... PLEASE FEEL FREE TO TAKE IT .....
I was a little worried that it would become a nice place for the school kids to sit and chat but thought I would give it a go.
Within 15 minutes there was a knock at the door .....

Standing in our porch was a little old lady, similar to the one above but, instead of sticks she had a trolley and assumed a bent posture. 
" About the bench ", she said ..... " Could you deliver it ?" I politely told her that it wouldn't fit in my car. She told me that she often took free things and put them on her trolley. 
" Might be a bit difficult to get an iron bench on your trolley " I said and we had a bit of a laugh. She said it was a shame and went on her way. 
Within 20 minutes she was back. She had ordered a car to bring her back and a van to take it to her house ..... result for all !!!
UPDATE : Meant to say but forgot the first time, Mr Home rekons she put it on ebay for 60 quid when she got home 😂



Friday 16 October 2020


OK, I'm at a loss to know just what to write about ! I promised myself that I would blog more but there's just nothing very interesting going on that you would be interested in !

I cleaned out under the stairs today .... woohoo !!!

I found our daughters inline skates ! They are nearly thirty years old !! There were old trays, bubble wrap and enough coats to clothe the street !

I bought a yew ball for the urn in our garden ..... I prefer Box but it would only have got box blight or the caterpiller thing so I thought the Yew was a better bet seeing as they cost a packet !
Now for the dilemma ..........

Do you remember when I did this ? It was a couple of years ago ..... I went to see Nik Kershaw with my oldest friend and stayed at her house. After the concert, we talked into the small hours { only one glass of wine had been consumed } I woke up at 7.00 am with the most awful stomach ache so went to the bathroom. The next thing I knew, I had passed out, been sick and had fallen off of the toilet, knickers round my ankles, head in sick !! Good job I know my friend well and that she is a nurse. Here's my problem .... the day before, I had had my first flu jab. I now don't really want to have the flu injection but, because of Covid, it is recommended. I have asked many pharmacists and they are all against it. 
Would you have another flu jab if you were me ? 
Hope the photograph of my bruised face hasn't put you off your breakfast/lunch/dinner. 

image 1: via rover.ebay, image 2: via thoughtco, images 3 & 4: via me


Tuesday 22 September 2020

EVEN STEVENS ..........

Having done a few posts about my Dad, I thought I should even the score with one about my Mum.      
Here she is in her ATS uniform. She learnt to drive in the ATS and drove before my Dad did and she knew much about the maintenance of a car too. 

During the war, my Mum and Dad wrote to each other everyday, sometimes twice. We have all the letters. The above photograph shows only about a months worth !!!! I have read some but it feels like a bit of an intrusion so I don't like to read them really although, there is a lot of social history amongst them which is interesting.

A photograph of my Dad in one of the bands he was in ! 
This is as much a test of using the new Blogger rather than a history of my Mum. I  found out today when doing a new post that I am now 
forced to use it !!! So far, I am working it out, apart from aligning the script !!! Any help with that will be gratefully received ! Haven't worked out how to preview either ..... when I click on Preview, it just goes to a picture of my header and nothing moves ..... I guess it will all become clear in time ! { can't seem to add labels either ! }
I also seem to have lost my JACKIE at the bottom of the page !  
In the meantime, until I find it again, please accept my trademark four kisses.




Saturday 5 September 2020


This is my Dad's christening gown. He was born in 1917 so would have been 103, July just gone, but he died when he was 91.

I did think that this was a photograph of him at his christening but, it is a different dress. I remember being told that my grandmother entered him in a baby competition and I think this must be a photograph of him at said competition .... apparently he had chicken pox but they still entered him and he won !!! 

Here he is in RAF Summer/hot country gear ..... he went to South Africa, Iran/Iraq and Egypt among other places. He didn't talk about the war very much, like so many others.

I've been sorting out a pine chest and found my Dads flying instructions !!! ..... written on a tiny piece of paper !


all photographs via me


Monday 10 August 2020

DISTRESSED ..........

I've been tarting up our bedrooms  .....

This is an original Victorian built in cupboard in one of our spare bedrooms. Back in the eighties, we stripped it and there it stayed but, as something to do in this pandemic, I decided to paint it and distress it ..... the door is a bit warped but that adds to it's charm { that's my excuse ! } One can hide a multitude of sins if you adopt the distressed look 😃

I do like that distressed look ..... I know some of you will think I'm mad but I really like that old, weathered look .....

..... I distressed the fireplace as well ..... Apollo watches over it !

I'll show you the other bedrooms soon ..... they really all could do with being painted again but this will do for the time being !
Also, I bought all new bedding for all of our four bedrooms ..... duvets, mattress and pillow protectors, and new pillows ..... it's something that never enters my head to buy ..... so, now its all nice and new for when people stay ..... how often do you buy new bedding ?

Has this situation that we all find ourselves in motivated you ?


all images via me


Sunday 26 July 2020

LOOK AT THE SIZE OF MY ANNABELLE'S !!! { ooer missus !!! } ..........

I don't mean to brag but .....

Look at the size of my Hydrangea Aborescens Annabelle .....

..... and, Hydrangea Aborescens Sweet Annabelle .

and all without surgery ! 


all photographs via me